Who’s got soul? We do, thanks to library

Some Coeur d’Loonians continue to second guess the cost and downtown location of the new library. But Opinion Editor Jim Fisher of the Lewiston Tribune doesn’t. He’s urging readers to drive to visit Lake City to see the tremendous effect the week-old library has had on the community. In an editorial Sunday, Fisher quotes CdA Mayor Sandi Bloem as saying of our library: “It is truly the soul of the community. It gives a sense of who we are today, and imagination for the future. And that’s what soul is: past, present and future.” The comment from Her Sandiness set up Fisher’s observation: “Lewiston remains short on both heart and soul after repeated attempts to finance a new library failed to meet the state’s admittedly stiff requirement of 66 percent approval for bond issues.” In 2004, Lewiston turned down a $3.5 million proposal for a library, although it received 61.4 percent support. Last year, a $4.5 million request received only 56.5 percent. By contrast, Coeur d’Alene combined a $3 million bond levy with urban renewal, city and private contributions to build its $6.6 million library. Fisher goes on to challenge the notion pushed by some in his community that “a building housing books is obsolete in today’s technological world,” noting that the CdA library has 60 computers and wireless access. He concludes: “To Lewiston’s naysayers who wonder why their cramped, parking-deprived miserable excuse for a library needs replacement, here’s a suggestion: Drive to Coeur d’Alene.” It’s nice to be envied for a new library building. Now, if only we had a Starbucks in our library …


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